Went out to supper on Saturday night. Drove down the lane, up another one, and there we were. Pouring with rain. So the sight of champagne and a roaring fire did much to cheer us.
Drinks and chat before supper. When my mobile rang.
Dammit. Probably a child Wanting Something.
Sure enough, Youngest was breathing heavily down the phone.
Mummy, he whispered. Hoarsely.
I put on my bright Mummy voice. Raised it up a notch or two.
Hello darling, I twinkled. Guests watching, curious.
Youngest continued to breathe very heavily, while whispering something of Great Urgency. Which I couldn't understand. I hoped, with every fibre of my being, that he didn't want his bottom wiped. That would be dull. But not past all possibilities, that I would have to stomp back down the road, wipe said bottom, and return to party.
Husband will huff and puff. But cannot expect babysitter, or Middle Son, or Daughter, or God forbid, Youngest himself, to do neat job of it. As it were.
Found out that his bottom was perfectly clean. Thank God.
Worked out, with some difficulty, owing to the Whispering, that he was on his way to bed.
Prayers, Mummy, he hissed. Whispering very spittily down the phone.
What??? I asked. Still baffled.
This was repeated at some length, with increasing desperation. And then finally,
Prrrayyeerrrrrrrrrrs, Mummmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeee, he breathed. In a tortured sort of way.
Got it. Suddenly. As you do.
You want to say your prayers with me on the phone? I asked. Trying hard not to smile fondly, or let smile show in my voice.
Came the answer.
Right, I said. Moving to a place in the house where guests would not find it odd to see me reciting the Our Father to a book case.
And we began.
Youngest very quietly saying Amen at the end of each prayer, but not joining in, in case the babysitter thought him rather odd. Or something.
Found myself praying, on Youngest's behalf, for a safe lodging and a holy rest, and thanking Him for a lovely day, And a lovely lunch, added Youngest, quite crossly, as if I had deliberately left it out.
Finished. Checking over my shoulder that no one could hear this somewhat eccentric exchange.
Told Youngest I loved him. Told him to go upstairs to bed.
Asked him to get Daughter on the phone.
On she came... and agreed to kiss Youngest goodnight and tuck him in.
As it seemed he needed it that night.
And back I went to the champagne and Canapes.
Husband raised questioning eyebrow.
No need to wipe bottoms tonight, I said, gaily.
Hooray! he said.
And so we returned to our Grown Up World.